Archive for July 16th, 2007

Release Nat Tan now – “investigate then arrest” and not “arrest then investigate”

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must respect human rights and end police abuses of power of “arrest then investigate” and insist that police adhere strictly to “investigate then arrest” procedures.

Abdullah should order the immediate release of blogger, PKR webmaster and aide to Anwar Ibrahim, Nathaniel Tan to send a clear message that his administration and the police under his watch respect human rights, one of the three core functions delineated by the Royal Police Commission in its Report and 125 recommendations to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service.

Police abuses of power were manifest when they first let it be known that Tan was arrested in connection with the doctored photograph purportedly showing Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak with his confidante Razak Baginda and the murdered Mongolian woman Altantunya Shaariibuu.

Then there was talk about action against Tan under the Penal Code before the Official Secrets Act (OSA) was trotted out as the reason for Tan’s continued remand.

And most incredible of all, the subject of the OSA action was the anonymous website on the RM5.5 million corruption allegations against Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Baharum.

It is not only Johari who would want to know the identity of the person or persons responsible for the anonymous website which posted the corruption allegations against Johari — and there are allegations that the anonymous website could originate from within the police itself. Read the rest of this entry »


Crime and fear of crime worse than before Royal Police Commission period

Two common threads of the three public hearings of the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance on “Fight Rising Crime” held in Johor Baru the previous Sunday, Petaling Jaya on Wednesday and Bukit Mertajam yesterday are:

  • Drastic shortfall in the two major objectives of effective policing, firstly, to prevent, reduce and detect crime; and secondly, to provide safety and security for law-abiding citizens and their families.
  • Worsening crime situation and a palpable fear of crime which have gripped Malaysians in the hot spots of crime in the country, like Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Penang and Ipoh even worse than before the establishment of the Royal Police Commission 42 months ago.

      The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassa and the top police leadership must explain why crime and the fear of crime situation are worse than pre-Royal Police Commission period before 2004 although police pay rise has increased up to 42%?

      That the crime situation gotten worse rather than better is illustrated by the latest batch of crime statistics given by Musa on Saturday, where he announced that the crime index in the country had shot up by 5.11 per cent in the first six months of this year as compared to the same period last year. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Politics Without Mercy

by Farish A. Noor

One of the paradoxes of politics in developing countries is how uneven that development can be at times: From Latin America to the Far East, the political culture of many a developing country betrays all the signs and symbols of a stunted politics arrested by the competing demands of modernity, feudalism and primordial values that pre-date the modern era.

Witness the development of the cult of leadership in so many countries, from North Korea to Libya and Iraq during the time of Saddam, where every bare space was utilised to promote and project the image of the ‘great leader’, said to be loved by millions. North Korea remains at the top of the league when it comes to the culture of leader-worship, where even the bad haircut of their leader-for-life has been passed down as an iconic image of the unreconstructed Cold War era.

Among the developing countries of the world, Malaysia ranks highly in the eyes of many. So high, in fact, that during his recent visit to Malaysia former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan waxed eloquent about the virtues of this modern majority-Muslim state, commending the government for its record in development and praising the ‘moderate’ Islamisation programme of the current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Many keen observers of Malaysian politics, however, were taken askance by the comments of the former Sec-Gen of the UN. While it cannot be denied that Malaysia looks outwardly as a prosperous nation with a booming economy, close observation of what has been happening there for the past few years would throw some of Kofi Annnan’s praises into doubt. Read the rest of this entry »